Sunday, April 22, 2012

DoctorFunk at Big Daddy's 4-21-12

Before I get started on today's lesson let's review some of what we learned from yesterday.

1) Funk is danceable soul
2) There are great funk bands playing locally here in Seattle (and elsewhere I would imagine)
3) You can dance the shoes right off your feet for a minimal investment in time and money.

Yesterday's summary; If you are not getting out and seeing this marvelous music you are cheating your soul. The energy that is being transferred from the artist through the instruments, amps, speakers and finally to your ear is electrifying.

The homework is for you to see some of this great genre and report back to me. Please use the comments section below. Remember this is 100% of your grade this semester. You don't want a black mark on your record.

Just to remind you, here is what we reviewed yesterday:
Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supreme. The Brown Edition. Philly's Phunkestra.

I am willing to do the reconnaissance, but you must hold up your end and see some funk soon.

To that end, I decided that I needed more. My funk bone was telling me that if I would just spend one more night getting down and funky, it would leave me alone for a while. I agreed.

It just so happens that there was the promise of funk in Woodinville. DoctorFunk was playing Big Daddy's and I was invited.

A few months ago I was talking to one of my suppliers at work. I am a designer and my main duty is to make our building a great place to be. If you are going to spend a quarter of your life at work you should enjoy your surroundings.

My team and I were installing the last part of a major exhibit. As the exhibit designer on the project, it was my job to make sure that the correct product was ordered and installed. In this case, it was a beautiful antique mirror we were specifying for a high profile location.

This mirror was to cover 14 feet of wall and was a special order. Think about a mirror that had been sitting in a corner of the barn for 50 years. The silver is streaked black, gorgeous organic patterns form and give this glass a real personality. We paid to have this simulated. My great partner, our talented Senior Interior Designer E, had a vision and it was my job to make sure she was happy.

We contacted Steve at New Dimensions Frame and Mirror in Bellevue.

It turned out that Steve was a great supplier, he personally supervised the installation to make sure it was done right. If you want a cool mirror like this, or other cool interior accents, go to New Dimensions Frame and Mirror, Steve's biz. You might be able to get his autograph. Here is a link to his site: 

Here is the mirror installed:

There was something about this vendor that called to me. It might have been the soul patch, it might have been his confident aura, whatever it was, the conversation turned to music. He mentioned that he was in a funk band; DoctorFunk.

My Spidey sense kicked in; let us review the first part last night's lesson again.

I started the evening by sharing a microphone with Leon Berman, DJ for Shake the Shack (KEXP 90.3 6-9pm Fridays). Leon has a brother, Leonard.

When Steve said he was in DoctorFunk, it took me couple seconds, but when the old cpu kicked in, I stammered that Leonard was also in said band. Steve affirmed that fact. Small fricking world. The coincidence was too much, I was headed to Big Daddy's.

When I got to Big Daddy's, DoctorFunk was already in full swing handing out their prescription for fun. I had noticed that every parking spot was taken for blocks, the proof greeted me at the front door. The place was packed and this was a big room. The dance floor was full of moving bodies. The kiddies were not wasting any time, and how could you sit still with this band on stage.

I immediately had a huge smile on my face; Steve, the guy I bought the mirror from, was belting out the killer soul. The band was pumping out the funk and Steve was the lead vocal that completed the dynamite sound.

The juxtaposition of the two persona's was amazing. He commanded the attention of all, moving up and down, manhandling the microphone and singing in a beautiful soulful voice. This was a classic soul singer with a high energy band driving him. I was blown away.

The band was wonderful; I had seen lots of horns the previous evening but this might have been my favorite combination. Two trumpets and three saxophones was just what this patient needed. Add a skilled bass (who also added beautiful vocals) a great drummer, a talented keyboard player and the rocking lead guitar and you have the tonic for what ails you.

 See that horn section, man did they blast the best medicine for this sick patient. I especially loved the sax guys. The baritone dude was puffing mightily into his horn, heavy hot air came out and formed awesome notes. He also wrote some of the original music they performed.  The two tenors took turns amazing the crowd with killer solos. The guy on the right was a freaking genius, born with a silver reed in his mouth, no doubt. The crowd was cheering his solos, even from the dance floor. He was great.

The bass and drummer are joining forces to anchor the band. Leonard is melting our faces with some of the tastiest licks of the weekend. As I found out from this weekend's scouting, a talented and skilled lead guitar is a necessity. Leonard is the proof, his fingers were a blur as he vibrated the strings of his well traveled guitar.

What a thrill it is to stand up right next to the band and watch these great artist's work. Steve and his fellow babies are having fun and made sure we were going to have the same. I danced at the band's feet for a long time, it was as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

DoctorFunk is: Steve, Leonard, Dave, Eric, Jack, Greg, Jim, Scott, Bob and Alexey. The mix was great, I could hear every note. See DoctorFunk here:

In summation; Funky University was in session for two nights, we heard 6 hours of unforgettable music, we witnessed the best theater available, we saw four awesome bands and somewhere around 41 individual musicians. It cost twelve bucks to see the first three bands and ten bucks to see the good doctor, a screaming deal!

You should have learned by now that your soul needs this music, for it is music that brings it life.

Here endeth the lesson.

I do want to say hello to my friends in Germany, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Israel, The United Kingdom, Australia, Vietnam, China and the far flung Isles of Langerhans. I appreciate your stopping by. I would love to hear what kind of live music you see. Use the comment section below and tell me how you feed your soul.

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